Sweet Nothing

Hampton Ferry

Mist rising like silk

Disturbed by a murmur

Over cold water laid flat

By silence

Before morning shakes it all and,

Our voices breathe warmth

On words that float away


The chill stillness

Will evaporate

As we ruffle the shadows

On diffident souls

Whose pathways remain

But the moment has gone


The silk sunk by whimsy

Is a memory that whispers

Soft nothings in the mind

As time collapses on the day

For us to rise and shine

Above it all

National Defeat

On yer eadEleven young men wore the shirt
Three Lions and a collective heart
To kick a ball across the grass
In a stadium full of hope

For ninety minutes the ebb and flow
Was televised to millions of souls
A spectacle. A national event. Live
With partisan hopes riding the waves

And at the end. When the man in black
Signalled for play to stop
The impatient millions who invested hope
At least those that followed the white-shirted types

Were left with little more
Than a limp balloon to fill-out
The swelling where pride should grow
Acknowledging that when it mattered

Chile turned up the heat
Which in football parlance
Is all that counts
Don’t cry son. It’s in yer ‘ead


Moody sunset over water

In those faraway eyes

And meaningful sighs

I sense cold comfort

A little sadness at the brazier

Of the heart

A propensity to flick the switch

To neutral

And drift

When indications suggest

An all points alert

And rapid mustering

To the central muscle

And a warm infusion

Backed up by the head

That nervous calibrator

Of all that’s read

About the daily post

But I doubt that any intervention

Of mine would help

Farewell my friend

Be happy

First Thought


Bright November light

Bob’s got ‘man flu’

The nights’ have drawn in

So everything we do is jagged

Defined by an impending night

The shifting scene

Hovers and skims

A patina that registers

On timorous eyes

And carries conscience

All woven and wrapped

As if it wouldn’t

Unravel and spill

To spread disappointment

On an uncharted day

Don’t sneeze

Bob’s on the mend

Night Bus

Night. Bus. London. Scene

Journey home on the night bus

That old lady yesterday in rags
Has made me pause. A thought
persists in me that I should care
That the residue of my compassion
The memory of displaced dust
Should be so ruffled
I desire to make amends
this new day begins in comfort
And my plans do not permit
Strangers to invade that domain
So, bathed in clean, bright light
The cleansing winter cold
Is a promise. A route to play
And I embrace that
Somewhere between Green Park
and Hammersmith Broadway
I imagine she lingers still
In the dust and the smell
Of the lost and foundering
And I am



River Thames sail boat

Sail Boat on Thames in November

Sometimes we yearn for simple things

And know

As we go blindly

That faith will lead us

On foot, across land. Through water

For our eyes to see

How ‘safe passage’ works

In normal pursuits like walking the dog

So having embarked on a stroll

The day unfolds

And other peoples pursuits

Become theatre

A boat on a glint of water

November sun sharp on clinging leaves

The whoosh and tinkle

Of leisure time on the river

That these shortened days

Make urgent

And at noon on this day

We remembered the dead

Of two World Wars

The fisherman on the bank

The roach he caught

Bear witness to the simple

And the deep

Walk on.


First principles in fashion design

I am covered in words

Confused by their meaning


Men of letters will smile

At my simplicity

But I am comfortable

In naivety

If honesty is straight

That line will do

And those learned men

Who swim in the alphabet pool

And sculpt sophistication

With clever tongues

Can follow a circuitous route

I am small